Thursday, April 28

Challenge

So here's the plan... Sometime this week cover the bottom of your shoes with duct-tape, then on the tape write with a permenet marker things that distract you from Jesus or temptations that are in your life that you are having a hard time with. Put your shoes on and go about your day as normal, but try your best to avoid your temptations that distract you from being who Jesus wants you to be. At the end of the day, take your shoes off and (hopefully) you were not detracted from God by those temptations, that you wrote on the bottoms of your shoes!

This is just a demonstration on realizing your temptations, and how if you take the time and really try  focus on Jesus, he will make you strong and help you not be tempted by your temptations. :)

Sunday, April 24

Saturday, April 23

Miracles

I'm done looking around
I finally figured it out
It's more than metaphysical

You got me up from down
Faith has shattered my doubts
I believe in miracles



There's something that's missing
If we can't recognize
That our own existence
Is the miracle before our eyes
~Newsboys

It seems like we are all looking for a miracle like a cure for cancer, to no longer be in debt, or even for some kind of sign from God that shows us He's real. I know there has been a few times when I told God that I wanted a sign that He was still there. I feel like so much of my time is spent looking forward to find a miracle or a sign from God but then I don't see Him working right there in the present. Why should I spend my time looking forward when the fact that I am alive is a miracle that I see every day?  When I thought about my life as a miracle I felt like I don't need some kind of sign to prove that God is here with me.

Tuesday, April 19

Monday, April 18

Prophecies of Jesus

I always here people talking about how Jesus fulfills all these prophecies, but then I never here where those prophecies are found in the Bible. I've always wondered what those prophecies say. So one night as I was looking through my Bible I saw this really cool article that talks about the prophecies that were about Jesus!  Here are just a few of them:
Virgin Birth - Is. 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him *Immanuel.
*Immanuel means God with us.
This was fulfilled in Mt. 1:18-22 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
  *All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
*Is. 7:14
Nazareth - This prophesy is about Jesus being called a Nazarene. -  Is. 9:1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan
This is where that prophecy is fulfilled. Mt. 2:22-23 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,  and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
His Ministry - This is a prophecy about Jesus's ministry and to me it tells about what kind of person Jesus is. - Is 42:1-4  “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
This prophesy is fulfilled in Mt. 12:15-17 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah
Miracles - This prophecy is about the miracles that Jesus will do. Is. 35:5-6  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

He fulfills this one in Mt. 11:4-5 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor."
Jesus's Death - This to me is an incredible prophecy. This one talks about when and why Jesus died. Is. 53:10-12  Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; 
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
This prophecy was fulfilled in Mark 15:27-28 They crucified two criminals with Him, one on His right and one on His left. [So the Scripture was fulfilled that says: And He was counted among the outlaws.]
So there are just a few of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in the Bible. I think that it is really cool to know where in the Bible something was prophesied and where that prophecy was fulfilled. :)

Saturday, April 16

A Personal God

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of God? 

I asked some of my friends this question to see how they see God. I've always wondered what it's like to know how others view God, and it was very inspiring to see people's answers. 
When I think of God I get this feeling that there is someone strong and powerful standing beside me. I feel all happy and the area around me seems so much more peaceful. In my mind I get a picture of God when he was a pillar of cloud for the Israelites when they were escaping the Egyptians. (Ex. 13:21-22) I sometimes think of a pillar of cloud over me, surrounding me, protecting me, and leading the way.
*~*~*~*
Ok, so here's what some of my friends said:
Amy ~ "I think of God as a good friend and parent. Mostly I guess it just makes me smile. :)"
     (Me) ~ "What was it like for you when you knew you wanted to live your life for him and you accepted Jesus?"
     Amy ~ "I know it was a relief, like I realized I don't have to worry because God's got everything under control, and He's gonna take care of me better than I could on my own."
Morgan ~ "I get a feeling of peace, knowing someone is always with me, someone strong enough for all my  problems."
Tony ~ "For me it's my life story and how he saved me."
Ashley ~ "Love, romance."
     (Me) ~ "What made you want to know Jesus more? Why are you so drawn to him?"
     Ashley“I gave my life to him and he captivated my heart. He is the husband of my heart. He satisfies me more than anything can even come close to in comparison. I can’t go back, won’t go back and I will follow Jesus all of my days. His name is written on my heart.” “His character draws is to him and his grace is what makes this all possible. :) 
Jenna ~ "I get a wonderful feeling of how much he loves me even though I don't deserve him."
Katy ~ "I get a feeling like sometimes of just peace or of joy, like that feeling of joy you get when it's really sunny outside!"
Amanda P. ~ "I remember the story of the women begging Christ to help her and he rewards her for her faith in him. Mt. 15:21-28"
     (Me) ~ "What was it like for you to decide to fallow Jesus?"
     Amanda P. ~ "He revealed himself to me and the Holy Spirit filled me and I truly came to the knowledge that he is God and he loves me more than I could ever know.
Amanda F. ~ "I always picture a man up in heaven in white watching over us."
Sophie ~ "I get a feeling. It's like a tingle.
     (Me) ~ "Why do you want to fallow Jesus?"
     Sophie ~ "I think just because of how I've seen him change lives and how he has changed my life and just the love he gives."
Will ~ "Ok when I think of God I think all 3 I see a picture of Jesus on a cross and I remember what I've done wrong in my life and how he has brought me through it . And then how much he loves me... And then I feel so free and amazing inside!"
Caitlin ~ "I see the mountains! :)"
Elisabeth ~ "When I think of God, I see a father. Someone with unconditional love towards everyone, and would do anything for you. No matter what you do or how much you mess up, He's always waiting for you with outstretched arms, you just need to come back. I think He wants what's best for you and will make sure that what needs to happen does. I always think of some of the AMAZING God stories that happened this summer, like praying over Shadow, saving the kittens, and getting out of the woods. I see light, love and harmony."
*~*~*~*
So these are just a few answers of who God is to some people and I hope this inspires you like it has inspired me! My challenge for you all who are reading this is to really think about who God is. He wasn't just the God of the Bible, He’s the God of today! Once you have an answer ask your friends this question and experience God together. It is amazing!!

Monday, April 11

I'll Stay Me

I was listening to this song Luke Bryan sings called I'll stay me when I was driving home from school today.
The chorus of this song really got me thinking.
"Singers wanna be Hollywood actors
And millionaires wanna ride old farm tractors
I am just what I am, I'm just what you see.
So I'll make it easy, I'll stay me."
*
"Quarterbacks wanna play lead guitar
And supermodels want smaller body parts
Change is good sometimes, but buddy I believe
I'm gonna make it easy, I'll stay me."
I have recently really been thinking about what it means to be me. Most of the time I feel like I'm trying to be someone I'm not because I think that person that I want to be like is cool or if my hair was straight instead of wavy I would look better, or I would want something that the crowd had because that is what was what everybody else had. 
One of the hardest things for people it seems is to just be themselves. To be comfortable in their own skin and to be content with who they are. I have struggled for the past few years to be myself. I would just find a group to be with and I wouldn't be who I was but who the group is (if that makes sense). I think that it's cool and all when friends are so close and they know each other that well, that they start to finish each other's sentences. I do it with my friends all the time! But when they start to change their desires that God gave them because they want to be like each other, they become someone they are not. But if they don't try to change who they are and both use their different gifts and talents that God gave them then I think that, that friendship will be all that much stronger. 
In the past few weeks I've really began to be confident in who I am and I've became comfortable in my own skin. I feel that it is such a God thing and it is amazing! I no longer want to be like someone else I just want to be me. It's kinda a strange new feeling but it's an exciting journey to see who God wants me to be! So I guess what I'm staying is I'll stay me.

Sunday, April 10

Hiring Weekend

I have just come back from a crazy weekend at Island Lake for the hiring weekend to work at camp this summer. For those of you who don't know, Island Lake is apart of the same ministries as Miracle Ranch. This weekend started off with me going just cause I kinda wanted to work at camp this summer so I applied. I don't feel like my heart was really in it, but I still felt like God maybe wanted me to go. When I got there I found out that we would just be "campers" and not be able to work for whatever reasons and all I could think about was, This is dumb. Why did I even show up if they aren't even putting us to work. How will they know who is going to make a good wit or not. So already my attitude was not for God and the program but for me. I know that it might sound like I did have a good attitude cause I wanted to work but my heart wasn't focused on God. I also had a lot of the new applying wits in my cabin and on the outside I looked all pleasant and happy, but on the inside every little thing just seemed to make me have a bad attitude towards them.
I use to tell myself, "fake it till you make it" like when I was shy to talk to someone so I would try to pretend that I wasn't shy until I was comfortable to talk to that person. But then I started using that when I was having a bad attitude about something or someone. Many people would say that's great, cause who would want to be with someone who had a bad attitude. Right? It's true that it's not good to let my bad attitude show but it came to the point where I was always unhappy with something and I would put a smile on my face and look happy just for show. I felt fake cause I wasn't being me, I was just covering up stuff. 
The weekend took a turn for me when we attended every fireside (the worship and God talk part of camp) during the weekend. Most of the time when I work at camp I don't get to go to every fireside cause I'm always working, and I believe it was a God thing that I was able to go to them all this weekend. 
All Saturday my heart was real hard to people. On the outside I looked like I wanted to talk to them but on the inside I was a mess. Saturday night came and we had fireside and something about the music that night started softening me up. I could feel my walls coming down and God coming in again. I knew that familiar touch and I knew he was calling to me. And I let him it. I could feel him wrap his arms around me and he was telling me he loved me. Then he was telling me that he loved the people that I my heart was hard towards, and he just started filling my heart up with love for everybody around me. 
It was such a God moment! I was standing next to my friend Kelsey (Swimtrot) and when there was that alter call we both got up and went to it. Sas came over to us and put her arms around us and prayed for us. It was so incredible how strongly I could feel God's presents and my heart was so full of love and peace that I thought it would burst! 
Walking out of that building and going back to my cabin I felt different. I didn't have that moment where I felt like I had to put a smile on my face and pretend that I was happy and that I wanted to be with the people in my cabin. I was truly filled with joy and I felt love for every person in my cabin! 
In Matthew 5:21-22 says that if you hate someone in your heart that that is like killing them. I really feel like it's not all about how I look on the outside, and if I appear to be happy when even though on the inside I'm irritated with whats going on or with someone I'm with. I feel like God cares about whats on the inside and that even if nobody else can see that bitterness God can. And I know when I held in that bitterness I felt miserable. But when I let God back in and gave him full control of my heart again I felt this peace and his love was surrounding me. It was indescribable!!

Tuesday, April 5

Monday, April 4

Me

I want to truly be alive and full of life,
As I am radiant with intense joy,
And full of passion for the things I love,
As well as enthusiastic about everything I do.
I desire to be genuine and not be afraid to be me,
As I strive to be full of grace to those around me,
And find inspiration while searching to know my God,
As I am open to every opportunity that He brings my way.